5. Treating Your Emotions and Your Body with Kindness Reflects God’s Essential Nature
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One of the spiritual fruits Paul listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is kindness. Jesus exemplified this trait in every way, and gives it to us through His Spirit. Intuitive Eating offers the opportunity to view ourselves through a new lens of kindness. This points directly to the fruit of the Spirit.
Diets can create emotional issues all by themselves. But usually there is something else going on, too, that creates an unhealthy relationship with food. Deep-seated emotions won’t be fixed by food, even if food seems to help us cope in the short term. If emotional eating seems to be your issue, I encourage you to seek professional help for the underlying issue(s). But above all, be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up over it is not helpful at all.
We were not all created exactly alike, and one size definitely does not fit us all. We are created in a variety of shapes. We need to respect this aspect of God’s design, because it points back to his satisfaction with how He made us. Intuitive Eating also encourages some type of physical movement. The point is to focus on how your body feels when you move it around. This is a kinder, gentler type of exercise than intense work-outs focused on calorie-burning.
6. Honor Your Health and God’s Design with Gentle Nutrition
Here’s where the whole thing can go off the rails. There is so much confusion about what constitutes good nutrition. The Intuitive Eating plan doesn’t offer guidance because of its focus on refusing to make any food off-limits.
The keywords here really are honor and gentle. Choosing to honor our health instead of condemning food changes everything. When we ask ourselves if a food we desire will honor our body and God’s design, it opens our eyes to His plan and place in our lives. This new awareness is a source of communication with God, too. It draws us into His presence and helps us consider Him in all the nooks and crannies of our lives.
Besides honoring, the goal of gentle nutrition over dogmatic rules exemplifies more of God’s grace. One thing we know about Jesus Christ is that He came to set us free from ritual and rules. Psalm 23, along with other Scriptures, reassures us that He is our Shepherd. I can’t imagine a good shepherd berating his sheep or penning them into a corral so tight that it mentally harms his animals.
Jesus is the perfect example of a gentle shepherd, and Intuitive Eating reminds us to be like Him in this regard.
The more I contemplate the principles of Intuitive Eating, the more I realize how beautifully they illustrate God’s character. And I am refreshed by ditching negative thoughts and attitudes about my body, my health, and the role of food.
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